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Single by Boyz II Men
from the album Cooleyhighharmony
Released May 24, 1991
Recorded January - February 1991
Genre New jack swing
Length 3:56
Label Motown
Writer(s) Dallas Austin, Michael Bivins, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman
Producer(s) Dallas Austin
Boyz II Men singles chronology
"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"

"Motownphilly" is Boyz II Men's 1991 debut single for their debut album Cooleyhighharmony. The single was a success peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Michael Bivins, who co-wrote the song, provides a guest rap on the song. The group gives credit in the lyric "Boyz II Men, ABC, BBD."

The video for the song was filmed in various locations in Philadelphia, the group's home city in December 1990. It also features two new jack swing groups name-dropped in the first verse, Another Bad Creation and Bell Biv DeVoe, (in the lyric "Boyz II Men, ABC, BBD."). Philadelphia native Questlove, later of The Roots, also appears in the video. "Motownphilly" was also featured in the Rockstar video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2004, as well as The Timekeeper movie which opened at the Magic Kingdom in 1994, and also featured in the animated television series Sabrina, the Animated Series.

A music video appeared on The New Mickey Mouse Club. The video featured Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Matt Morris, Marc Worden and Dale Godboldo.

The song also appeared in the season 5 episode of Full House entitled "Gotta Dance". Stephanie Tanner (played by Jodie Sweetin) and her dance group perform a dance routine to the song.

The song was played on the pilot episode of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, where a student played the song on a boombox radio.

The song was sung by "The Gang" in the season 9 episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia entitled "The Gang Gets Quarantined". The Gang practices singing the song for a Boyz II Men a capella competition.

The song title etymology involves a combination of two of the groups main musical influences; 1960's Motown and 1970's Philly soul.

Track listing[edit]

US Vinyl, 12" [1]

  • A1 Motownphilly [12" Version] 4:47
  • A2 Motownphilly [LP Version] 3:52
  • B Motownphilly [Instrumental] 5:50

US Maxi-CD [2]

  • 1 Motownphilly [12" Version Edit] 4:47
  • 2 Motownphilly [LP Version] 3:52
  • 3 Motownphilly [Quiet Storm] 4:06
  • 4 Motownphilly [12" A] 5:50
  • 5 Motownphilly [12" Dub] 4:08

UK Vinyl, 7 [3]

  • A Motownphilly [7" Radio Version] 3:50
  • B Motownphilly [Philly Instrumental] 3:50

UK Vinyl, 12" [4]

  • A Motownphilly [12" Extended Club Mix] 5:35
  • B1 Motownphilly [7" Radio Version] 3:50
  • B2 Motownphilly [Philly Instrumental] 3:50
  • B3 Motownphilly [Dub Mix] 4:08

Germany Maxi-CD [5]

  • 1 Motownphilly [12" Version] 5:50
  • 2 Motownphilly [7" Main] 3:20
  • 3 Motownphilly [12" Dub] 4:09
  • 4 Motownphilly [Quiet Storm] 4:06

U.S. chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

External links[edit]